Willamette Mission State Park & Mt. Angel Oktoberfest. Oi! Oi! Oi!

She Said

Today’s Agenda:   A hike at Willamette Mission State Park &  Mt. Angel’s Octoberfest.

Highlights:

As I scrape the final smidgin from my last bottle of “Divinely Original” Monastery Mustard on my final grilled burger of the Summer, do I feel melancholy over this only remnant of my glorious days of Summer?  No way!  I think, “Octoberfest!”  Although I don’t really need an excuse to go to Mt. Angel’s reason for living, Octoberfest is one of the few places one can purchase their fabulous mustard from the Sisters of St. Benedictine.  So off we went.

But alas, if I get to eat that big fat juicy smoked brat and a serving of the best spaetzel this side of Germany, I am going to have to earn those bloody calories first.  A hike outside of Salem at Willamette Mission State Park is a wonderful way to workout with the bells of the Glockenspiel ringing in my mind with each step I take.  This is a wonderful park to walk or bike for geezers like myself since it is mostly paved and flat. 

Panorama of flowers.

Panorama of flowers.

The lake here is more like a pond,  but along many of the paths, one it partnered with the Willamette river.  Which means tons beautiful native plants, wild flowers, birds, and wild life.  There is also an old hazelnut orchard and the reconstructed metal framework of the 1830’s mission’s structures.  There is plenty of parking and the park is surprisingly uncrowded. The only thing this park lacks is a Dairy Queen at the end of the hike.

Outline of the old mission.

Outline of the old mission.

But who needs the Dairy Queen when you have the Octoberfest awaiting your arrival?     First stop is the long awaited smoked brat and spaetzel.  From here I am forced to confess my caloric sins to the Sisters of St. Benedictine at their mustard booth.  The sisters show their customary compassion with a handshake and my six bottles of their much-revered (pun intended) mustard.  

The biggest surprise of the day is that my husband actually wants to polka.  As the polka band leader guides us through the basic polka steps, I figure out another reason why I married this man.  He lets me lead.  Being a Minnesota girl, I should have mastered the polka years ago.  Confession time:  I absolutely cannot polka unless I take the lead.  I cannot follow.  You can imagine how that went over with those manly Minnesota boys.  I guess that that’s why I married my liberal Oregonian.  Taking the lead, and my husband so graciously following, we did a pretty darn good polka.  Thankfully, with the exception of beer, no one takes anything too seriously at Octoberfest.  It’s all about being silly, joyful, and just having fun.  Ticky tacky tricky tacky oui oui oui!

Waiting to polka.

Waiting to polka.

He Said

Willamette Mission State Park

4 to 6 miles is about the limit of hikes for me, and if on flat ground so much the better. And if the plan for the evening is sausage, schnitzel and beer, better to have expended some calories before the food. I sometimes think Germany invaded all those countries just to walk off dinner.

Willamette Mission state park is an old mission site (hence the name. duh.) that has a nice hike along the Willamette and by some evaporating lakes.

Willamette panorama

Willamette panorama

You can see the largest cottonwood in the US, now 280 years old,

Worlds biggest Cottonwood

Worlds biggest Cottonwood

and some great filbert

Filbert aka Hazelnut.

Filbert Trees aka Hazelnut.

and walnut orchards

Walnut trees. Producer of the worst food in the world.

Walnut trees. Producer of the worst food in the world.

that are about 100 years old. A 4 mile flat hike on a fall day is a perfect prelude to beer and foods that start with and sch.

Octoberfest.

This is the second time we have gone to Mt Angel Octoberfest and it will be a yearly event. We started with a late lunch with a pork schnitzel and spatzel at the Glockenspiel with a German beer taster.

The tasters are the Glockenspiel. Not small.

The tasters are the Glockenspiel. Not small.

None of that weird metallic taste; it may be German style, but it was brewed here in Beervana.  And they did not skimp on the portions.

After hunting down the Benedictine Mustard, the real reason Kerry wanted to return to Mt Angel, we were off to a Garden  for beer and music.

Live music is always fun, and the German music was a blast.

I grew up associating the accordion with Lawrence Welk, but it is quite the versatile instrument: Mexican Tejano, Zydeco and German all make use of the accordion in vastly different ways to great effect.

We saw two bands (Europa and the S Bahn), drank a little more beer – with the frequent shouts of ‘tiki taka tiki taka! Oi! Oi! Oi!‘ one is obligated – and did the Polka and Chicken Dance. Poorly. But it is sure fun. I have not done the Chicken Dance since the last time I went to a wedding in Minnesota.  Usually when I dance they call the paramedics out of fear I am having a seizure; the beer makes every too happy to notice.

We keep saying we need to go back to the area when there is no festival. Stay at the Oregon Garden Hotel, hike Sliver Creek Falls again and eat at the Glockenspiel when it is not quite so hectic.

Ein Prosit”
With Beer stein or glass in hand

A Salute to Your Health or Well-being!

Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit, der Gemütlichkeit
Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit, der Gemütlichkeit
(Cheer!) Eins, zweidrei, g’suffa!

Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke,

hoi, hoi, hoi
Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke,

hoi, hoi, hoi

Prost!

Good times.

 

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One Response to Willamette Mission State Park & Mt. Angel Oktoberfest. Oi! Oi! Oi!

  1. Pingback: Milo McIver State Park and Stone Cliff Inn | She Said, He Said: A Geezers Guide to PDX

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